Dear President Obama, Love The Gulf (again)

 

Dear Mr. President,

As you may recall, we wrote to you before about protecting the entire Gulf of Mexico from new oil and gas leasing. On that same day, Friday, November 18th the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its 2017-2022 five-year plan for oil and gas drilling. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of numerous grassroots and national environmental organizations, the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, were excluded from the plan. Although Gulf Coast residents and numerous national organizations have also been extremely vocal in our desire to end new offshore drilling and transition to sustainable, renewable energy sources, the Gulf of Mexico remains in the five-year plan. The plan includes 10 region-wide leases in the Gulf of Mexico from 2017 through 2022. This announcement was a huge disappointment to those of us who live, work, and play along the Gulf of Mexico.

Another Gulf Is Possible (AGIP) is a collaborative of individuals, businesses, and grassroots, frontline organizations from all five Gulf Coast states and our national allies. Many of us have been working in concerted effort together since our region suffered from the country’s largest environmental disaster as a direct result of offshore drilling, Deepwater Horizon. We do not want to see this kind of disaster ever again off our shores. As such, AGIP seeks permanent protection for the Gulf of Mexico Eastern Planning Area, which is currently under moratorium until 2022, from offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling.

Members of AGIP recently traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss this request and other issues with members of the House and Senate. As this request is a nonpartisan issue that will benefit our climate and coastal communities, we expect to have full support from all the coastal states on this matter.

The Gulf of Mexico is a unique, diverse, ecosystem that provides habitat to a wide array of species while providing a historical legacy for fisher folk, ecotourism, and a robust beach economy. Although we will continue to fight for the protection for all of the Gulf of Mexico, including the support of a bilateral agreement with both the United States and Mexico on the existing and new Gulf of Mexico Oil leases to ensure the safety of our coast, we ask at this time for the permanent protection for the Gulf of Mexico Eastern Planning Area from offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling.

Sincerely,

Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative:

Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director, Earth Action, Inc., Pensacola, FL

Cheryl Foytlin, Director, Bold Louisiana, Rayne, LA

Jayeesha Dutta, Co-Founder, Radical Arts & Healing Collective, New Orleans, LA

Juan Parras, Executive Director and Founder, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Houston, TX

Monique Verdin, Council Member, United Houma Nation, St. Bernard, LA

Rebekah Hinojosa, Save RGV from LNG, Weslaco, TX

Catherine Coleman Flowers, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise, Montgomery, AL

Jackie Antalan, Executive Director, Operation HomeCare, Inc., Mobile, AL

Dr. Enid Sisskin, Director, Gulf Coast Defense Fund, Florida

Kathy Randels, Artistic Director, ArtSpot Productions, New Orleans, LA

Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club, Austin, TX

Kenneth L. Heck, Jr. Professor and Chair, University Programs, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and University of South Alabama, Dauphin Island, AL

Kim Ross, President, ReThink Energy Florida

Elizabeth MacWhinnie, Board of Directors, Earth Ethics, Inc., Florida

David Underhill, Conservation Chair, Mobile Bay Sierra Club, Mobile, AL

Jennifer Crosslin, Steps Coalition, Biloxi, MS

Raleigh Hoke, Campaign Director, Gulf Restoration Network, New Orleans, LA

Renate Heurich, Co-Founder, 350 Louisiana, New Orleans, LA

Nick Slie, Artistic Director, Mondo Bizarro, New Orleans, LA

Holly Parker, Florida Regional Manager, Surfrider Foundation

Perry Graham, Juris Doctor Candidate, Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, LA

Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, LA

Jennifer Rubiello, State Director, Environment Florida

Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon, Solidarity Houston, Houston, TX

Scott Eustis, Gulf Restoration Network, New Orleans, LA

Stephanie Montalvo, Executive Director, Brighter Future Foundation, Florida

Jackie Lane, Friends of Perdido Bay, Florida

Marissa Knodel, Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth, Washington, D.C.

Sherrie Anne Andre, The FANG Collective, Providence, RI

Molly Murphy and Anna Lee, Co-directors, Working Films, Wilmington, NC

Miyoko Sakashita, Oceans Director, Center for Biological Diversity, Oakland, CA

Deirdre Shelly, US National Organizer, 350.org

Kelly Mitchell, Energy Campaign Director, Greenpeace USA

Rick Steiner, Oasis Earth, Anchorage, AK

Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Saren McAllister, Biloxi, MS

Joan Allen, Pensacola, FL

Wallis Mahute, Milton, FL

Carole Tebay, Milton, FL

Eugenia Ruth Buchanan, Pensacola, FL

Patricia Edmisten, Pensacola, FL

Janet DeLorge, Pensacola, FL

Frances Dunham, Gulf Breeze, FL

Allan Peterson, Gulf Breeze, FL

Marsha King, Pace, FL

Gina Cooke, Pensacola, FL

Frankie VanHorn-Harris, Pensacola, FL

Paula Montgomery, Pensacola, FL

 

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